Doug Evans, outgoing president of IPLOCA and CEO of Gulf Interstate Engineering, welcomed 651 delegates to Washington, DC for the 47th annual convention of the International Pipeline and Offshore Contractors Association. Contractors and suppliers to pipeline construction companies gathered in the nation’s capital for five days of technical presentations, meetings, social events and tours.
The convention attracted 17% new delegates, an increase over past conventions and a reassuring sign for the industry and Association. In addition to the new attendees, many of the industry leaders were pleased to see familiar faces of other long-time members. Evans himself is well-known to the members as he has worked in the pipeline industry for over 40 years, beginning as a surveyor’s assistant in a summer job while in high school, and has attended 23 conventions.
As president, Evans has been involved in developing the scholarship program for dependents of member companies. Despite some discussion over the details, the program is moving forward and will help encourage young professionals enter the industry.
Evans was also instrumental in shifting the image of IPLOCA within the U.S. from an association for companies outside North America to an international organization including North American companies. This shift is apparent in the 14 new member companies of which half are North American.
Unlike the Senate which was filibustering only 3 miles away, Evans commented that the IPLOCA directorate is solution-driven, like the industry itself. And although he has felt like he was “herding cats” at times over the past year, he maintained that the directorate, when faced with disagreement, parks their egos, seeks out further information and compromises to find solutions.
Looking forward, Evans said one area that needs strengthening in the industry is its safety record, specifically as it pertains to workforces in developing countries. He said he would also like to see oil and gas operators (the major integrated oil and gas companies and national oil companies) more involved with IPLOCA in order to become the “good housekeeping seal” for pipeliners.
The open general meeting began with a humorous presentation by renowned presidential historian Richard Norton Smith, tying the history of Washington, DC, to its presidents through comical anecdotes and jokes. The technical presentations that followed included a talk by Willie Watt on Subsea 7’s experience with pipeline bundling which involves moving 5-mile-long pipeline bundles to site offshore – in effect moving the longest manmade structures in the world. Alan Quilley, president of Safety Results, offered practical, innovative processes to improve how the industry looks at and measures safety performance.
Other speakers included John Attrill from BP who discussed the challenges of drilling, producing and transporting natural gas from Shah Deniz Phase 2 including the 4,000-km southern Corridor pipeline, Stephen Moore from the Wall Street Journal discussed the U.S. economic recovery and Suzanne Minter from BENTEK Energy explained the global effects of the shale boom in the U.S. which could be affected by discover/v of more shale gas in other parts of the world.
The 2013 IPLOCA Health and Safety Award sponsored by Chevron was presented in recognition of significant achievement. Bruno Maerten, HSE committee chair, reviewed the past year’s health and safety record and presented the award to Nacap Australia in recognition of their work on their “Code Safe” video. IPLOCA recognized three runners-up: Max Streicher for their “Safety Matters to Everyone” initiative, McConnell Dowell and CCC Australia JV for “Game On” and Spiecapag for “Engaging Everybody.”
The IPLOCA Corporate Social Responsibility Award sponsored by Shell was presented in recognition of an initiative aimed at improving the living conditions of people in communities affected by pipeline industry work. The committee presented the award to Heerema Port Amboin in recognition of their support to REMAR, a global organization which helps orphans and homeless and addicted youth in Porto Amboim, Angola. IPLOCA recognized two runners-up: Spiecapag for their “Employment and Site Work Skills Management” and Welspun for their “Global Commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility.”.
The IPLOCA New Technologies Award sponsored by BP was presented in recognition of significant achievement in the development of new pipeline technologies. Evans, chairman of the New Technologies Committee, presented the award to Herrenknecht in recognition of their “Pipe Express,” a new method for environmentally friendly and economic pipeline installation. IPLOCA also named two runners-up: Applus RTD for their ultrasonic testing method “IWEX 3D” and Laurini Officine Meccaniche for their innovative products.
The Association elected the following as its 2013-2014 board of directors:
President: Najib Khoury (CCC)
Treasurer: Harald Dresp (Max Streicher)
1st Vice President: Jean-Claude Van de Wiele (Spiecapag)
2nd Vice President: Atul Punj (Punj Lloyd Group)
Immediate Past President: Doug Evans (Gulf Interstate Engineering)
Executive Secretary: Juan Arzuaga
Harald Dresp (Max Streicher)
Jan Koop (Bohlen-Boyen)
Kaan Dogan (Attila Dogan)
Andrei Klepach (Stroygasconsulting)
Jean-Claude Van de Wiele (Spiecapag)
Roberto Castelli (Bonatti)
Adam Wynne Hughes (Pipeline Induction Heat)
Jesus Garcia Pons (Arendal)
MIDEAST & AFRICA:
Najib Khoury (CCC)
Ibrahim Zakhem (Zakhem)
EAST & FAR EAST:
Atul Punj (Punj Lloyd Group)
Jim Frith (McConnell Dowell)
Scott Summers (ARB)
John Tikkanen (Bredero Shaw)
Directors for Associate Members
Greg Miller (Pipeline Inspection), Michael Rae (Argus) and Gerald T. Grothe (PLM)
Larry Bolander (Fluor);Georges Hage (C.A.T); Marco Jannuzzi (Caterpillar); Wilhelm Maats (Maats Pipeline Equipment); and Bruno Maerten (Geocean).
At the final banquet, the Association raised more than $20,000 for Evans’ chosen charity through the lottery of a car sponsored by Volvo Construction Equipment and Renault Trucks to benefit Crossroads School, a nonprofit school serving students with learning differences.